If you are like me, the news of the Coronavirus pandemic came with much shock and concern. To understand that this condition is far more contagious than the flu and has spread to many countries brings feelings of fear and anxiety. As Christians, it is important to “keep our heads,” as Rudyard Kipling wrote. And so, I thought I would share some truths from God’s word that may put some of the present milieu in perspective.
First of all, God is the Author of Life. Let us never forget that the world had its origin in the creative hands of the God of Scripture. The very first words of the Bible, found in Genesis 1:1 state: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God has created this universe and has its future in His hands. Furthermore, Human beings are the crown of His creation. Genesis 2:7: “…then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” And later in Genesis 2:18, God said that it was not good for the man to be alone, and so He created a helpmate to be with him, the woman, who was taken from man. Both are the crown of His creation, made in His image, with a mind, will and emotions… a soul; something only able to communicate directly with God and have fellowship with Him!
In addition, death is in God’s hands. The Old Testament figure known as Job, received awful news that his sons and daughters had all died tragically in an accident. We are told that he grieved deeply by tearing his robe and shaving his head, then fell to the ground and worshipped. In Job 1:20 he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Life is in God’s hands. He brings about death at the appointed time. We must trust Him, even in times of great loss.
Just as life and death come from God’s hand, you can be comforted that God watches over your life. Psalm 121:7-8: “The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” And David wrote of the greatness of God in knowing all of our days as if they could be counted. Psalm 139:16: “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” When something like this strikes, it is a time to cleave to God; wait on Him. Seek Him in prayer. Receive of His mercy and grace. And do not let fear rule the day.
Because of these truths, do not succumb to fear and panic. The Apostle Paul knew what it was like to encounter life-threatening situations. He wrote from a Roman jail cell to the church in Philippi: “…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:6-7). Therefore, trust God, who is full of love, power and grace. He knows what is best for you!!
There are some common expectations over the next eight weeks. Life is far different now than it was just a few months ago. Therefore, consider the following:
- Take this opportunity to work on projects you have been putting off. Keep busy.
- Take care of yourself. Eat well and get your rest.
- Wash your hands often: 15-20 seconds with warm water. Use hand sanitizer, if necessary.
- Practice social distancing. Keep yourself at a six feet distance from others. Avoid shaking hands or giving/receiving hugs.
- Avoid public gatherings. The CDC has advised no gatherings of greater than 50 for the next eight weeks, until/after May 10 (Mother’s Day).
Lastly, pray for others affected by this virus. At the time of this writing, Italy has 21K infected and 1,400 deaths. One of their officials is recorded as saying: “This is not a wave, but a tsunami.” Pray that the Lord would be glorified in this situation; that His church would be used; and that many people would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.